Process and outcomes of training in psychosocial interventions in mental health: a stepwise approach to evaluation

J Carpenter, D Milne, C Lombardo, C Dickinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Staff training is increasingly validated as the foundation for evidence-based practice (EBP) in the National Health Service, yet (paradoxically) the evidence-base for such training is weak. Aims: To propose and illustrate how a proper evidence-base might be developed. Method: Two cohorts comprising a total of 36 mental health practitioners from various disciplines participated in a one-year, part-time postgraduate training in psychosocial interventions (PSI). Evaluations of their training programme and of their learning were carried out, using observational and self-report methods. Additionally, outcomes for users (n = 24) who received PSI from the first cohort of trainees were assessed using standardized measures of mental health, quality of life, and users' opinions (gathered with a user-designed questionnaire). These outcomes were compared to those of a comparison group of users (n = 105) receiving standard mental health care elsewhere. Results: The programme was delivered according to specification and was highly regarded by the trainees. Evaluations of their learning indicated that there were significant improvements in their knowledge base and in their use of PSIs following training, with no adverse impacts on their work. This finding was replicated for the second cohort of staff. There was evidence that those users who had received PSI improved more, in terms of social and relationships skills, than would have been expected if they had received standard community mental health care from staff who had not been trained in PSIs. Conclusions: The methods used illustrated the feasibility of assessing a stepwise series of learning outcomes within a comprehensive evaluation. The findings reflected favourably on the programme and contribute to EBP.
Translated title of the contributionProcess and outcomes of training in psychosocial interventions in mental health: a stepwise approach to evaluation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505 - 520
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Volume16 (4)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Taylor and Francis

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